Are We Really the University of “New Haven?”
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With the exception of weekend outings to the esteemed Gotham or Toad’s Place, I find that there is no UNH presence in the city of New Haven. Upon my own adventures to various shops such as Blue State Coffee, Atticus, Koffee, Junzi, Urban Outfitters, or even Shake Shack, there aren’t too many hoodies and jackets representing the University of New Haven.
Which brings the question: is New Haven solely reserved for Yale University? If so, what city does UNH actually belong to and can have a presence in, in the way that Yale does?
West Haven is where our campus is geographically located and yet, there’s no presence of the UNH community, outside of strictly being on-campus, in West Haven either. The University is making efforts to turn West Haven into a college town with additions such as the new apartment complex ‘The Atwood’, but why aren’t UNH students filling the streets of West Haven or New Haven casually during the day on the weekends?
One reason for this is the Downtown New Haven Shuttle. The shuttle begins running at 6:15 pm Thursday – Sunday. This means that for those who do not have a car, they only have access Downtown during the hours where most shops begin closing, promoting Downtown as only a place for partying and clubbing.
If the shuttle had daytime hours, there’d be more people heading into Downtown New Haven and experiencing all that it has to offer a bit more.
The second reason being the lack of a U-Pass or even a clear understanding of how the CT Transit bus system operates. The University has now placed a $40.00 fee on U-Passes, which for some people is a fee no one wants to pay after not having to do so in the past.
For some students, the U-Pass provided them with transportation to work or the ability to immerse themselves within the community outside of campus. The connotation that paying for a U-pass creates is that one must have an actual use for the U-pass in order to purchase one. When it was free, the U-pass provided the opportunity for exploration in someone’s free time.
If there were more of a push to create a city filled with college students from my own school and have people hang out around the city of New Haven, or even West Haven, then Connecticut can begin to feel like home to those persons who come a long way to be here.